A Peacock spider - photo Norm Morrison 1981

Early record of a Peacock spider

Peacock spider behaviour report N.Morrison 1981

Peacock spider behaviour report N.Morrison 1981

We have all got excited about Peacock spiders, having been introduced to them by Stuart Harris who has led surveys on our last two BioBlitzes (a new variety was discovered at last year’s BioBlitz at the Four Winds site)and shared his experiences at our Christmas Celebration.

However, it appears that some people have known about these beautiful beasties much earlier. Norm Morrison shared a report he wrote about thier behaviour, and I have just had the slide he made translated to digital, so we can share it with you.

Here is Norm’s paper and the image he took then

A Peacock spider - photo Norm Morrison 1981

A Peacock spider – photo Norm Morrison 1981

Blue tide ...Porpita porpita

Blue Tide Creatures

On Our trip to Lennards , we found Porpita in a pool & a few days later I found a few more creatures of a Blue tide .

p1050221 Porpita float dark side up so as to blend with the ocean from winged predators & pale side down so as to be camouflaged from predators underneath. dscf2213Velella velella or ‘by the wind sailor

Glaucus atlanticus  [ sea lizard]  & Janthina janthina  [Violet Snail ] also float on the surface [makes its own float as it doesn’t have a sail ] & are predators of the Physalia  [Bluebottles ] which are the most commonly sighted members of a Blue tide.

If anyone has a reasonable picture of a Blue Dragon I would like to include it .They are found on the rock faces underwater ,they also steal functional components from other organisms.dscf2017 img_9480

Creatures of a Blue Tide

Creatures of a Blue Tide

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Channel -Billed cuckoo

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No colour prejudice here !!

This 2 Channel-billed chicks are being reared by a Raven.These huge cuckoos are the largest of all parasitic birds and so has to find large host species with eggs of a similar size  …in this case the raven ,the chicks were already bigger than their carer !

They are a migratory species & breed in Australia in Spring & Summer.

Grey Fantail on nest

Grand Designs for some ?

I f you look carefully you will see the grand designs of the Red capped Plovers at Mogareeka,normally they have their sandscrape [nest  ] in the middle of the beach with virtually nimg_9597o cover .These have chosen upmarket designs   .

The beach nesting birds will sometimes choose a little vegetation or sticks as cover but don’t seem to have the intricate designs of our bushbirds .like the incredibly beautiful nests made by the Grey Fantail in the featured image.   RedCap plover sandscrapeimg_9609

baby Pigmy possum  photo Mandi Stevenson

Baby Pigmy possum

We just had our AGM where we talked about one of Andrew Morrison’s projects which is instaling nestboxes for Pigmy possums in areas like Tura Beach where they are short of hollows for their homes. When she arrived home Mandi Stevenson found this baby on her doorstep. Luckily Alan Scrymgeour knew what to do and collected it to deliver to Wires who know how to care for such lost infants.

baby Pigmy possum  photo Mandi Stevenson

baby Pigmy possum photo Mandi Stevenson

Hopefully it will be released back into the wild when it is old enough to survive on its own.

Sae Hare

Sea Hares in Spring

p1030345The Sea Hares [Aplysia sydneyensis ]seem to be doing what is expected for Spring ,there are large numbers in the  Merimbula lake ,near the bridge, in the shallows beside the boardwalk,along the shore at Fishpen and some washed up along Main beach.

Sea Hare 2

Sea Hare 2

Sae Hare

Sea Hare 3

Pomaderris delicata
Photo Neville Walsh, Nat Herbarium Victoria

The Pomaderris project visits Merimbula

Betty Woods sent us this link which shows the first field trip of the projectPublished on 7 Sep 2016

Pomaderris delicata Photo Neville Walsh, Nat Herbarium Victoria

Pomaderris delicata
Photo Neville Walsh, Nat Herbarium Victoria

The project begins!
In mid-2016 an important collaboration commenced to restore some of the threatened species of the Pomaderris genus, a unique Australian plant. This 3 year project is being funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, and involves numerous partners, including the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Wollongong Botanic Garden, Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens and Bega Valley Shire Council.
Pomaderris project
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Eastern Curlew Merimbula Lake 2015  photo Liz Allen

Eastern Curlew – extinction in sight?

Eastern Curlew Merimbula Lake 2015  photo Liz Allen

Eastern Curlew Merimbula Lake 2015 photo Liz Allen

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Here is a link to the podcast of the first of an ABC Radio National 4 part series about the amazing and difficult migrations of the Eastern Curlew. We are fortunate to have several that are regularly seen around Merimbula Lake – but for how much longer?

Eastern Curlew story ABC Off Track part 1

Eastern curlew at Roebuck Bay in WA photo Nigel Jackett

Eastern Curlew at Roebuck Bay in WA photo Nigel Jackett

Glenn preparing specimens for ID at the Wallagoot BioBlitz 2015

Over 400 moth species recorded at the Wallagoot Catchment BioBlitz!

Many congratulations to Glenn Cocking(ANIC) who undertook moth surveys at our last BioBlitz in December.

This is an amazing total and a really good species list for this area.

Glenn’s comments:

“I have now sent the final moth report from the Wallagoot bioblitz. I think it gives a good account of the adult moths active on the nights of the Bioblitz, and a few of the Lepidoptera flying in the daytime (some moths aren’t attracted to light, and the daytime observation effort wasn’t extensive).

There was a total of 401 species observed, with 321 of them at Bournda field hut, 128 at Turingal LALC, 82 at Wallagoot West LALC, and 176 at either of the Aboriginal Land sites.

 

Please note the final line “Unidentified Oecophorinae” with a total of 21 species spread across the three sites. I’ve kept this line separate at the bottom so it shows these species in the site totals, but I don’t think it would be helpful to add a further 30 odd “Oecophorinae unidentified” sighting records to ALA (other opinions are possible). The Oecophorinae are a particular challenge to identify because there are many thousands of species, many are superficially similar, and a significant number have not yet been assembled into species groups at ANIC, let alone described. They are particularly important here in Australia where many of them feed on leaf litter and help decompose it before it burns, and the Australian species are the majority of the world fauna for this family. “

Everyone at the Atlas of Life would like to thank Glenn
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Glenn preparing specimens for ID at the Wallagoot BioBlitz 2015

Glenn preparing specimens for ID at the Wallagoot BioBlitz 2015

IMG_0721 for his great contributions – I would like to say a personal thank you for being allowed to be part of the surveys – they were spectacularly interesting. Glen also attracted much interest from school students and other BioBlitz participants as in the mornings of the BioBlitz he prepared the specimens he needed to take back to his lab for identification.